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Story: I am a evil necromancer Overlord who has many evil minions loyal to me. However a hero has greatly wounded me, and I have to go into deep sleep in order to heal and regain my dark energy. My minions remain loyal to me (no worries there) but I have to leave quickly before my enemies find me. How do I hide myself in such a manner that only my evil minions will able to find me? What is the best place to hide ? I don't want to leave some obvious clue that will get me ambushed by a bunch of annoying heroes.

Background: My world is like a magical-Earth, with the most common magic types being - elemental and necromancy. Spirits can be summoned, but they can't find people. I am a evil Overlord with 3 powerful minions (they are the most loyal) and a evil army. I have some time to prepare before going into hiding.

Question: Where is the best place I should hide ? Since I have some time (but not that much) to prepare before going into a deep sleep, it is possible to create artificial places with traps and all. But my evil minions have to be able to find me in order to awaken me at the appropriate time, when good is at its weakest etc. So the second question is, what clues (if any) do I leave behind ? I can't just tell my minions, "I'm going to this and this place" because it is possible to force clues out of them if they get captured. A subtle hint would be enough.

Note : For leaving behind clues, I can use code words, or hide in a place only my minions know about. Enemies cannot read minds , but they can get some clues (magically listening in etc)

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closed as primarily opinion-based by James, DaaaahWhoosh, vsz, Hohmannfan, Brythan Jun 29 '16 at 17:09

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I can't just tell my minions, "Im going to this and this place" because it is possible to force clues out of them if they get captured. A subtle hint would be enough. Aren't they going to figure what the hint means and therefore end up with the knowledge of where you are regardless? $\endgroup$ – AmiralPatate Jun 29 '16 at 10:53
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    $\begingroup$ @AmiralPatate Not really, consider using code words that only my minions know. Even if the enemies hear that, they won't realize what it means. $\endgroup$ – King of Snakes Jun 29 '16 at 10:58
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    $\begingroup$ The best villains hide in plain sight, IMO. $\endgroup$ – ognockocaten Jun 29 '16 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ @charginghawk Thats a good ans for "Where to hide the Illuminati" but I have no shape-shifting magic and I need to go into sleep/meditation in order to regain my energy. The only way I can hide in plain sight is if I become the sleeping beauty XD (amazing sleeping evil-looking guy ? lol) $\endgroup$ – King of Snakes Jun 29 '16 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ King, your question lacks any sort of constraints that would make it possible to compare answers for quality. $\endgroup$ – James Jun 29 '16 at 13:57
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In order to outwit a hero, one must think like a hero. So in order to hide from said hero, where would be the last place a hero would think of looking?

I would say the most holy place imaginable, such as a great temple or revered statue. Whilst the hero is delving into dungeons and searching through barrows and graveyards, I shall be slumbering beneath those who will worship this hero readily. They would not know that their doom lays beneath their feet!

Then, even if the hero does manage to discover my location, he would have to dig up a holy place, something he may not be willing to do unless he is fully certain. Even then, he would have to convince the worshippers at that site to let him defile it and destroy it, something my minions would have no such qualms about.

For the second point, I would tell my loyal minions exactly where to go. However, that is not exactly where I am. That would be simply the first step in an elaborate treasure hunt to find my true location. This means that even if my minions are tortured and reveal the information, that would not help the hero in finding me.

Indeed, only the minions would be able to complete the quest when the time is right, and the only way the hero could complete it would be to subdue one of the minions throughout the entire journey, and force it to answer the riddles/ puzzles or decipher the codes they are given correctly at every step of the journey. Much more difficult than simply forcing the information out of them on a single occasion.

These could include really evil things, such as summoning another spirit that will only give the next clue if it is presented the blood of an innocent (say a child). Even if the hero gets that far, would they be willing to perform the task and taint their soul to find me?

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    $\begingroup$ Now this is a good one, especially when you factor in the whole 'sacrifice the innocent'. Nicely done, you get a +1 :) $\endgroup$ – King of Snakes Jun 29 '16 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ The problem with hiding in a holy place - full of wannabe heroes, I guess - is that you'll wake up in an ambush full of of annoying "heroes". $\endgroup$ – user8808 Jun 29 '16 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Roux Heroes will never go inside a holy place unnecessarily. So I'm safe for now, the only problem I can see is that the holy energy is going to make it harder for me to gather dark energy. $\endgroup$ – King of Snakes Jun 29 '16 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @KingofSnakes it depends how your magic and Gods works in your world. Is it possible for your necromancer to even get into that place? If it is "the most holy place" and you are able to be there badly wounded AND gather dark energy than your world is maybe not well balanced... $\endgroup$ – Artholl Jul 4 '16 at 7:54
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Hide in the crowd.

Choose some minion, preferably the one that lives in a big city, with a spotless reputation (hope you're smart enough NOT to mark your minions with "I'm evil" tattoos). Let the minion declare that his dad or granddad got sick and needs a better care, so the "granddad" will move to him. Fake the required documents, and just sleep in the minion's spare room. Unless your "grandson" annoys the neighbors with a loud music, no one would even remember that you exist.

I really doubt any Legendary Hero would bother meticulously checking the papers of every Average Joe that appeared in a new place after the Bad Guy disappeared. They'll have more exciting things to check, like powerful artifacts, magical anomalies and elaborate quests. Actually, ask your smartest minions to create a couple of "cool" artifacts, set up some puzzles, draw maps and spread rumors - it'll keep the Heroes distracted for a while.

As for keeping it secret: only one minion knows your true location, and after you've settled the details, no magical eavesdropping can discover the truth - you're just his comatose granddad. You need to select some other minions for backup (again, only the ones with a perfect reputation), and, again, they'll be talking about "taking care of a friend's grandpa", not about "hiding the Evil Overlord in a spare room".

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  • $\begingroup$ On a related note the best place to leave the magic stone that ties you to the world making sure you cannot die is probably on a rocky beach. Your phylactery is probably safest in an anonymous container in the back of a long term medical sample archive. Just make sure the that you leave enough funds to cover costs for a century or so. $\endgroup$ – Murphy Jun 29 '16 at 12:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Murphy during WWII, this was done to hide Nobel prizes from the Nazis. The gold medallions were dissolved in aqua regia and the resulting solution was put on a shelf. After they were driven out, the gold was recovered, and the medallions were recast. $\endgroup$ – rcollyer Jun 29 '16 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ This method worked well for Saddam Hussein. $\endgroup$ – Dewi Morgan Jun 29 '16 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ If there is nothing like "evil aura" around the Overlord easily detected even by "normal people" than this is the best answer. Especially the part about false clues and artefacts. Distracting heroes is the best approach ;-). $\endgroup$ – Artholl Jul 4 '16 at 8:25
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Regarding the minions

If the minions can be broken, your hiding is pretty much required to be magically linked to certain events in the realm. No matter how cryptic or scattered the information, if the knowledge can be forced from the most loyal of subjects, and the life of the villain depends on it, I wouldn't recommend trusting them with the information.

A solution could be a means to contact the Overlord, but the location is not revealed in this method of contact. Like a summoning ritual that merely opens a channel to the mind of the Overlord.

But onward to the suggestions of locations

Pocket dimension

Create a rift in the fabric of reality, hiding yourself in a dimensional pocket that can be accessed via some means. Non-Euclidian reality would be a tricky space to traverse for mere mortals that are accustomed to the laws of physics.

Magical domes

Impassable shields of natural or unnatural variety. Wild magic, electricity, a vacuum. There's a number of different means that would shield from most lifeforms. A spheroid vacuum with several minutes of traverse time to get to the villain would negate most lifeforms, provided the minions are undead.

Outside the world

Practical immortality and lich-like features make possible to create a space for yourself on celestial objects, or simply on orbit. This pretty much unifies the first two ideas into one: The location is for all intents and purposes impossible to get to, and if someone were to get close, lack of breathable atmosphere would hinder any intruders.

"The Voldemort"

Provided the Overlord is able to possess people, have it latch on to living beings. Powerful enough they could leech lifeforce from Dragons, basically zombifying a big brood mother for example. This could be mistaken by the people as just some random pestilence that plagues the land, not necessarily the Overlord. It would also create a possibility for a more accelerated timeframe for the evil to rise again, provided your world has powerful magical creatures to drain life from.

"The Sauron"

Like Sauron survived via the small token - ring, this Overlord could simply use mundane, yet precious objects as his phylactery. Perhaps a jewel in a crown of royals or a gem in a signet ring. This would also provide with a plothole for how the big evil stayed on top of current events during their absence.

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The trick here is that the Hero has to think he has utterly defeated you, so you need a little stagecraft.

Find a minion that resembles you somewhat, and perform surgery and other manipulations to make him resemble you perfectly. Dress him up in your finest robes and stick him at the end of a dungeon somewhere with a perfect escape route. Bonus points if you brainwash him to believe he is you trying to enact one of your B plans for world domination (be sure to add in a keyword that is unlikely to be spoken to him to remove the brainwashing in case he succeeds).

Next, have your three, probably well-known, lieutenants guard and protect him (alternatively, if you want to keep said lieutenants around, repeat the first step with minions that look like them). You can brainwash them too if you want to make sure they don't let it slip that he's not their real boss.

You have now set up a situation that, in every way, looks like what the hero expects (BBEG in a lair, threatening to take over the world). If he defeats him, then the hero gets what he wants, and stops hunting you. If he fails, that's one less hero to bother you (and potentially the world might be conquered while you sleep).

As to you sleeping it off, you have a lot of options. I like the "pretend to be a prisoner in your own dungeon" approach. You might have to change your appearance to make that work, but when the hero finds you, you can wake up and be grateful, and tell a terrible story about how Lord Evilton was torturing you so you'd reveal where Plot McGuffin #3 was hidden, but you resisted, knowing some brave hero would come to save you. Feel free to give the hero additional information, like Lord Evilton boasted to you about how he couldn't be killed, and only a sword coated in the blood of a pure maiden thrust into the heart of his corpse could keep him dead (or something equally funny to see if the Hero will do it).

In either case, you probably want to invest in some spells to misdirect any scrying done on you, and prevent mind reading and other pesky problems.

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Try hiding in a statue. (Preferable one immune to Detect Life kind spells if you are alive enough).

The statue of yourself wouldn't be the best choice (heroes who lost loved ones or friends might relieve their anger on your statue => they will discover you too soon), so I would suggest a statue of some noble hero. Hide it in your treasury so it would look like you/your minions stole it somewhere.

When the time comes, all your minions have to do is to break a statue and take your body away.

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    $\begingroup$ This is good, but what if my minions who DON'T know about this destroy the statue because they like destroying holy artefacts (or want to reduce morale) ? If I invade a city, I'll make sure to destroy the statues of their heroes, as if to say, "I can do whatever I want, no one can stop me" which will reduce morale. $\endgroup$ – King of Snakes Jun 29 '16 at 12:56
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The same way it's always been done

At the back of a cave system behind hundreds of minions (in easily pulled groups who apparently can't see each other across a room). You need to make sure that each of your progressively tougher trusted lieutenants has a part of the key needed to waken you from your long slumber and that they will hold that key on their person until death.

After all, why break with such a fine old tradition and if nothing else, necromancers love to cling on to the past.

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  • $\begingroup$ If each part of the key is needed to raise the Evil Overlord, then the heroes only need to hold onto one part to delay his return, and if they can destroy one part, they've ensured the EO stays in a coma forever. $\endgroup$ – Martin Carney Jun 29 '16 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinCarney, that only works until someone else gets a quest to find all the parts, at which point the first heroes just become a group boss for the next generation. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Jun 29 '16 at 16:19
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Go on the sea floor, perhaps the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world's oceans.

It's super difficult to get to, even with magic? Unless it isn't?

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  • $\begingroup$ He could have pressure problems... $\endgroup$ – beppe9000 Jun 29 '16 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ @beppe9000 - Necromancy might solve that?? But yeah. The lack of data on the magic system keeps me from setting possibility limits... $\endgroup$ – Malady Jun 29 '16 at 21:43
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Every respectable fantasy villain needs a dungeon.

If the term D&D rings a bell, remember that each and every RPG or RPG like game, be it video or board game, could maybe never have existed if Gary Gygax et al hadn't been so addicted to villains hidden in dungeons. It's what the first D stands for.

Dungeons may take many forms - they may be spires, cave systems, lairs inside castles or churches, etc. But at the end of the day, they are just that - dungeons.

I am trying to come up with some examples of villains waiting for heroes for a final clash in a dungeon, or just living in a dungeon when they are the protagonists. Some examples that come to my mind: Diablo (and his brothers), almost every single dragon and lich in every single D&D videogame ever, the Overlord from the Overlord series, Zemus & Zeromus from Final Fantasy, the japanese queen from Tomb Raider, Satan in Dante's Inferno, Magneto in his asteroid, Dr. Doom in his castle, Juno in Assassin's Creed III, Smaug, the uber Ethereal from X-Com, Ch'Tullu, Bowser, Dr. Weird... And these are just off the top of my head.

Sure, the alternative of hiding in plain sight is smart and all, but it takes away all the fun of traps, epic monster battles, hidden treasures and a sense of exploration. I say stick with dungeons all the way.

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